Chicago (IL) Simeon four-star guard Zach Norvell is moving closer to a decision, and the next step in that process was a stop at Iowa State for his third official visit.
The 6-foot-4 guard, ranked by Scout.com as the top shooting guard in Illinois, holds offers from the likes of Creighton, Illinois, Purdue, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Florida State, Wake Forest and Oklahoma in addition to Iowa State, which began recruiting him in early August when the new coaching staff was well-established.
“I would say probably right after the summer, right after I got done with Vegas, we got in contact a little bit,” Norvell said. “They got the job real late, so it’s kind of a late recruiting process for them, so they’re trying to pick up on recruiting. The coach said he likes my game and he likes my toughness and everything, so it grew from there.”
Iowa State has been a frequent visitor in Chicago since as assistant Daniyal Robinson has stopped by multiple times (including last week) along with Iowa State coach Steve Prohm, who has developed guards dating back to his time at Murray State.
The visits have been key in building a quick relationship.
“They came by quite a few times, [they’ve] come in and touched base with me throughout the whole [last few weeks] because they got the job late so they had to try to build a relationship, I’m not going to say real fast, but they didn’t want to just keep calling and stuff like that,” Norvell said. “They wanted me to get a feel for them since they weren’t able to recruit me early on in the process. They have a great group of guys.”
A lefty, Norvell is a capable longrange shooter who averaged 15 points per game this past summer in the EBYL where Iowa State ultimately took notice.
Iowa State, which is looking to add multiple guards in a large 2016 class, sees versatility in Norvell and has used that as a key pitch for its fast-paced offense.
“They look at me as a big guard that can do it all, that can handle it, make plays, get the ball off the glass and push, make shots and also be a vocal leader,” Norvell said. “They like my toughness and how hard I play. They say my character is pretty cool, so they like that about me a lot. They’re going to need guards — they’ve got senior guards there right now — they’re going to need guys to come in and be ready to play.”
As for the visit itself, Norvell spent time with a number of players who would be on the roster in 2016-17 and watched Iowa State’s first practice of the 2015-16 season on Friday before attending the football game Saturday with the team.
“They’ve got a great group of guys. The whole campus, the whole university has their back no matter what,” Norvell said. “The football team hasn’t been doing real good, but they still sold out 60,000. As far as a basketball standpoint, as far as I can tell, they get after it every day. Everybody is pushing each other, everybody wants to see everybody succeed. That was really big to me as well, just to see the guys go hard and the coaching staff [had] a lot of intensity.”
Norvell, who has now visited Gonzaga, Georgetown and Iowa State, plans to visit Florida State “in the next two weeks” before soon after coming to a decision.
“Nobody is really sticking out, probably just those four schools as of now,” Norvell said. “I’m [going to commit] in November.”